SRINAGAR: The moderate separatist leader and cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday said killing militants won’t resolve Kashmir problem saying “if you kill one militant, 10 more will stand up”.
“Each day young educated boys are being killed in Kashmir and there is a belief in some that once all of them are killed, the Kashmir problem will be over,” Mirwaiz said while addressing Friday congregational prayers at historic Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar today.
He, however, said those who think this forget that these boys have taken to arms as a reaction to “repression” and for resolution of the Kashmir dispute.
“As long as there is repression and force as a state response, while you may kill one, ten more will stand up. Aggression and repression can never resolve issues but only aggravate them,” the moderate separatist leader said.
The security forces have launched “All Out” operation against militants and have killed over 130 militants including seven top commanders in the Valley this year so far. 40 security personnel have been killed in militancy violence in Kashmir this year so far. Over 40 civilians have also been killed this year. Most of the civilians were killed in security forces firing on protestors during clashes near the encounter sites.
Mirwaiz, who was released from 57 days house arrest today, said killing militants won’t kill the “sentiment” as is evident during funeral prayers of the militants.
Thousands of people are attending the funeral prayers of the militants killed in encounters with the security forces. After participation of thousands of people in funeral prayers of slain Pakistani militants, authorities don’t hand over bodies of slain foreign militants to locals but bury them silently in a graveyard in north Kashmir.
Mirwaiz said the agitation and protests by students in colleges and universities across the Valley that force the state government to frequently shut educational institutions also indicates how the youth of Kashmir sees the situation and react to it.
He said for past 70 years, people of Kashmir are born and raised to live and die with the fact that Kashmir is a disputed place waiting final resolution.
“I again appeal people in India to see Kashmir neither as a piece of real estate nor as a territorial dispute between two hostile neighbors but as a human issue concerning hundreds of thousands of people and divided families hanging in fire since the last 70 years. It has lead to great suffering and loss of life on all sides that begs for a just resolution,” added the moderate separatist leader.
The moderate separatist leader said persecution of separatist leadership through “so called investigations” and spreading lies and creating a huge propaganda against them and harassing them and their families, friends and acquaintances in order to defame and intimidate the leadership and demoralize people.
He was referring to arrest of separatist leaders by NIA and Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Seven separatist leaders, a Jammu-based Sikh lawyer and a leading businessman from Kashmir have been arrested by NIA while a top separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah has been arrested by ED
“These type of tactics will prove futile as people of Kashmir know such ploys and do not buy them. It will only worsen and complicate matters further,” added Mirwaiz.